Calendar of State Papers, Scotland: Volume 10, 1589-1593. Originally published by His Majesty's General Register House, Edinburgh, 1936.
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James VI: March 1589
1. James VI. to [Walsingham]. 1588-9. [Mar. 14.] Cott. Calig., D. I., fol. 325.
"Richt trusty and weilbelovit we greit zow hertlie weill. This beirair, James Bannatyne, sone to our trusty counsellour, Maister Thomas Bannatyne of Newtyld, one of the sen[ators] of oure College of Justice, being directed be his said father to the scholis in France for his further promotioun in vertew and guid lettres, and taking journey throcht that realme, we haif thocht meit to addres him to zour guid meane for his dispeche and furtherance in . . . way, requyring zow effecteouslie to lett him be weill usit induring his remanyng, furtherit to his depairture, and favourit with sic lettres as may be neidfull for his indempnitie within that realme and the commoditie of his transport, as he sall finde [occa]sioun to imbarque. Thus we commit zow, richt trusty and weilbelovit, to Goddis gude protectioun. Frome Halyruidhous this xiiiith of Marche, 1588." Signed: "Youre loving freind, James R."
¼ p. No address or indorsement.
2. William Asheby to [Burghley]. [Mar. 14.]
It is hard to judge to-day, right honourable, what will be to-morrow, especially in this court suffering such alteration and "waltering" as is incredible. The committing of the Earl Huntly was well liked of very many; the setting him at liberty displeased almost all men, chiefly those of the religion. The eighth day of his imprisonment he was set at liberty, and the same night lodged in the King's chamber; the next day received the guard, and the 9th March the King dined at his house, and so from day to day ceased not to shew what favour he could devise. The 13th Huntly again invited the King to dinner in Edinburgh. That morning, being in the fields hunting the hare, about eleven [?] word was brought to the King that the city was putting itself in arms, which was but a rumour; "yet Huntley durst not retorne with the King, having prepared a dinner for his heighnes, but retyred over the water to Domeferling in the Fyffe." The guard is taken from him and he absent from the King's presence, but his affection towards Huntley is such as most fear he will hardly be drawn from affecting him. But if her majesty back the Lord Chancellor and the protestants, the contrary faction must needs quail if the King should favour them. But I judge there is no such cause to suspect him of favouring papists, "for that he sheweth himself both in wourd and deed an enimye mortall to poporie."
The managing of this matter in this sort displeaseth many, which proceedeth of the lenity of the King and his fond affection towards Huntly.
The protestants seeing this mild kind of handling this matter stand upon their guard, and have taken up an hundred horse by the King's appointment, and fain would take up another if they were able for their better strength to prevent a sudden mischief; and if her majesty countenance them they will go through with that they have begun. That which is spent now will save her many pounds hereafter.
The 13th day, as the King was hunting, the Earl of Erroll met him and had secret conference with him, but the rumour that the city was going into arms caused Huntly and Erroll to retire over the Frith. The King hastened to the city, dining at Huntly's house, where the Lord Chancellor met him.
This much I had written on the 13th in the night; but your letter of the 9th came, for answer whereof your lordship shall understand as follows:—
The Lord Chancellor thought it best that the King should be at the Town-house to have the forces of the city in readiness to assist, if required, in apprehending Huntly, for it was feared, having the guard, he would not have come to the castle from Holyrood house. As Huntly was going to the castle, word was brought that he made some stay in the street till Bothwell returned from the King. The Lord Chancellor went down, and presently warned the town to arms and said,—"seing the King haith commanded, he shall be caried, or cutt in peces," and willed the captain to make no stay.
At the Council with the King in committing Huntly were these:— the Lord Chancellor, the Laird of Lochleven now Earl Morton, the Earl of Mar, the Master of Glamis, the Lord Treasurer, Sir W. Stewart, Prior of Blantyre, Sir James Hume, captain of the castle, and Mr. Alexander Hay, Clerk Register.
The names of those zealous in religion and faithful to the King in affecting the cause of England I sent your honour in my last, with the names of the contrary faction and papists. The King did lie that night at the Lord Chancellor's house, and there continued till the 10th of March.
Touching the Spaniards and Desmond I have written in my two last letters of the 8th and 10th of March to you. Touching the objection made that the letters were devised in England, the King affirms there is no device in it, but a matter of truth, for Tyrie confesses his hand and letter, but the contrary faction must needs invent somewhat to blind the eyes of the simple. Bruce and Chisholme are not as yet apprehended.
The names of those gentlemen which fled upon the committing of Huntly were these:—the Laird of Cluny, a Gordon, counsellor to Huntly, Mr. Walter Lindsay, a counsellor of Earl Crawford, the laird of Ackon Cloighe, a Graham, counsellor to the Earl of Montrose, and the Bailie of Erroll, counsellor to the Earl of Erroll. These conveyed themselves away from Edinburgh the same night but none are yet apprehended. Huntly was taken alone, being chief of the faction and a man of greatest command in Scotland, except Argyle, but he is a child; the taking of him would daunt the rest. The Duke was sent with the prior of Blantyre to Lord Leviston's house to search for the 4000 crowns but none could be found, nor Bruce yet heard of "but layd for." Lord Levistoun came with the Duke to the King and here remains at liberty, finding himself grieved that his house should be searched.
The Master of Gray is here holden for a papist, and therefore there is small hope he will do good at this court. He may do better service to the King abroad: this is the Chancellor's opinion but he would not have it known. Lord Wemyss' stay was a long time for lack of money, and of late the stir here, and lastly the coming of Monseigneur Civill, who arrived here the 10th March; this day is his first audience. Lord Wemyss will set forward within four or five days for England.
The Chancellor yet lies in the town, but now that Huntly has gone within a day or two will lie again at the court in Holyrood house.
The party taken with the letters whom you mention as being on the way had not come to Berwick the 13th of this present; upon his coming thither there shall be a hundred horse to convey him to Edinburgh.
The fourth letter I named was a copy of the second to your honour which I directed to Mr. Secretary "and sent it a part haulfe a daie after by a footeman to Barwicke." Edinburgh. Signed: W. Asheby.
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3. Thomas Fowler to [Burghley]. [Mar. 14.]
I received your lordship's letter this 14th March so much to my comfort as never anything was more; first, to understand thereby that my most gracious sovereign hath some good opinion of me, and next to find a good conceit of your lordship towards me. I most humbly beseech your lordship to assure her highness that "if I had as many heddes and wittes as I have heares I wold employ them all to serve hir majesty." And though the ambassador resident be able to do such service as I cannot, yet by more frequenting company of the best than he conveniently may. I shall do my best to be well thought of, first by her gracious majesty and next by your honour, "the auncient cowncelour, pryncypall piller, and upholder of that commonwelthe." Edinburgh.
—"The laird of Wymes is an honest affecter of England and will come shortly."—Signed: T. Fowler.
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Postscript to the same letter:—
This King hath a strange, extraordinary affection to Huntly, such as is yet unremoveable, and thereby could persuade his majesty to any matters to serve his own particular or friends. The King, desiring to have him his familiar in court, persuaded him from papistry, and, as he thought, prevailed. Since I came hither he subscribed to the church, whereat the King rejoiced exceedingly, and thereupon Huntly had the guards delivered, was lodged in the King's chamber, and had place in the King's favour above all others, but he never meddled in matters of state; he followed him in all pastime and would flatter and feed his humour in whatsoever exceedingly, and yet but shallow witted. But he hath shrewd counsellors about him whose advice he follows.
The Chancellor is beloved of the King in another sort, for he manages the whole affairs of this country. He sees he cannot be without him; he finds his whole care for his well-doing, and yet hath flattered the King too much. The King hath had a special care to make and keep these, his two well-beloved servants, friends, but it never lasted forty days without some suspicion or jar.
Lately the Chancellor hath left both to dissemble or flatter, for he hath dealt most plainly and stoutly with the King. The sterling faction durst not say much lest he should remember the old, "and the two old new erles, who are stowt and wyese men, is lothe so sone to take muche apon them in his contrary." So the whole lies upon the Chancellor to speak, though the others will back him in deed. I heard the Chancellor tell the King that if he would maintain Huntly in that sort he would not have a protestant in Scotland to follow or acknowledge him; they would leave him to the papists and would provide securely for themselves. "Yet when the Chancellor consydders that they must have the King eyther with his will or agaynst it, he thynkes it dangerows to have him perforce, therefore uses to yeld to sum part as to spare the prosecutynge of the matter agaynst Huntley for treason so they may kepe him from the Kinge and the gard." Yet if the man that comes confesses anything to touch him, they will take hold thereof; and I find that they had rather the noblemen in this conspiracy would fly, that they might put them to the horn and banish them, than to try them and shed their blood, whereon will grow everlasting feuds. The example of Arran and others make them doubt that dealing.
I know that if the King can bring his purpose to pass he will have Huntly in court again within a month. If I do but tell him how much he will make her majesty, yea, and all the well-affected in religion in this whole isle, in doubt of him, he will yield and promise much; but when Huntly or his solicitors come in place he forgets all, and many say they doubt him bewitched. He shews himself loath to offend her majesty and no doubt is perfect in religion. The gentleman that comes must deal roundly with him if occasion serve. It should be no young man.
The Master of Gray's advertisements of late to the King tend all to the greatness of the King of Spain, the weakness of the King of France and Navarre, and the prosperity of the Leaguers.
1 p. Addressed.
4. Thomas Fowler to Walsingham. [Mar. 14.]
I wrote to you before that Huntly had the guard again and the Chancellor had taken up a hundred horse. The King had made the Chancellor and Huntly friends and also the Earl Marshal; notwithstanding on Tuesday last Huntly complained to the King that the Chancellor had taken up horsemen and would know the cause, for if it were for any guard to his person it appertained to him. The King answered they were to apprehend men conspiring against the true religion, his own person and the realm, of which he was accused and not yet cleared, and therefore not meet to have the charge. The Chancellor was called, and taking advantage of the matter told the King before Huntly that he might see all his doings but dissimulation; and vowed no more to serve his majesty nor come to court as long as Huntly had charge of the guard.
The two new earls, grave men, the Master of Glamis, the captain of the castle, and divers others took the Chancellor's part and vowed the same, and they all lodged that night in the town and stood upon their guard.
On Wednesday the King called his council in the Town-house where they sat long and with much ado brought the King to grant that Huntly be discharged of the guard, and go to his own country within three or four days. Thursday morning the King rode out hunting and Huntly with him, "myselffe beinge in company, for I follow him at that pastyme and hathe quietest speche in his home cominge." Huntly had bidden him to dinner in the town at a house prepared, at which dinner the King desired the Chancellor to be, for before Huntly's departure he would make them both friends again. This was agreed on, the Chancellor granted the King's request, as content to do anything to set him going. "Great chere was prepared and many cookes at worke." When it was past noon and the King drawing homeward, there came post after post of Huntly's friends and servants, bringing news that all Edinburgh was in arms, which amazed the King and made him turn back a little to confer with Huntly and Bothwell.
Presently Erroll came with a dozen horse, who had ridden hard. He was never seen in these parts since he fled that night that Huntly was committed. Huntly met him and brought him to the King, who talked with him an hour, after which Huntly went to "Dumferling" with forty horse, and after a while Erroll followed him.
The King came to this town with Bothwell, to the house appointed for his dinner, "where the yonge duke was the interteyner, though we left the master of the feast behynde." After dinner examination was made for the taking arms. It was substantially proved to the King by the Provost and others that there was no such matter that day, which many thought strange. That night Huntly's guards were discharged; the King notwithstanding wrote to him very friendly, and in council did what he could to excuse him, and would fain have agreed the Chancellor and him, but it will not be. Many doubt what will become of this matter. The papists are strong, yet if the others be supported in time they will do well; they hope for help from England with speed. All the King does is from fear more than anything else, though he has an overgood affection to Huntly. He is persuaded by an old rule "that his strengthe and standinge saffe is by preservinge his owne subjectes in quiet and amyte to gethers."
If her majesty please to be at some charge she may command all here; the matter will not be great, for seven or eight thousand pounds a year will bind King and country, with some title of honour, which they stand much upon, to avoid the name of a pensioner.
"I have byn very bussy in thes trobles in playinge my part and have byn thretened for my labour." Some hath written me out of England that a nobleman there is very angry and has vowed to discredit me here, and has knowledge "that I shold be the stay that not any was sent from hence to our parlament, and thinkes I hinder his awonted intelligence." Therefore I beseech you whatever I do let it be used as secretly as may be. Edinburgh.
Postscript—Lord Wemyss, your honour's well-wisher, will come to England shortly and will return hither again cre he goes to France. Signed: T. Fowler.
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5. Thomas Fowler to Walsingham. [Mar. 15.] Cott. Calig., D. I., fol. 299.
. . . . (fn. 1) sent away my last letter of the 13th. to your honour I received a letter from my Lord Treasurer which he says was by the Queen's majesty's commandment, both to shew me of her good allowance of my advertisements and to thank me for it.
I find by proof daily more and more how much I am bound to you. It had been sufficient to have had your own good acceptance and friendship for any service I could do, but I see you have so used the matter for my good in her majesty's hands as hath been cause of this comfort now come to me.
I wrote an answer to his lordship, and set him down some reason of the King's affection to Huntly, and the difference between his love to him and to the Chancellor; as also the causes why the managing of all these matters here fallen out of late rests altogether in the said Chancellor, who handles it very stoutly.
There is nothing happened since my last. Huntly's wife is gone to Dunfermline to him, and they go north within a day or two for a while as is yet intended, though I trust they will be deceived. Here is but expectation for what her majesty will do for them, and horsemen are taken up, but no money to pay them. Wemyss sets forward on Tuesday next. Edinburgh. Signature decayed.
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6. William Asheby to [Walsingham]. [Mar. 15.]
This fire here kindled upon discovery of this dangerous practice will hardly be quenched without her majesty's aid, for the adverse party is strong, and the King's fond affection towards Huntly emboldens the papists and puts the well-affected in fear. The first committing was well liked of the good subjects, but the setting him at liberty displeased almost all sorts, especially those of the religion. The eighth day of his imprisonment, upon Claud Hamilton's coming, he was set at liberty, as I writ you before, and the same night lodged in the King's chamber; the next day received the guard again. The 9th of this month the King dined with him in the city and made friendship betwixt him and Earl Marishal, who have been long at feud, and so renewed his accustomed favour towards him—"as the wourld thinkes he is bewitched with him." But suddenly there comes a new "waltering" in this sort. The 13th of this present Huntly invites the King to dinner within Edinburgh. That morning he accompanied the King in hunting the hare. About eleven a rumour rose in the city that the citizens were putting themselves into arms; this rumour was carried with speed to the King hunting, who returned presently to the town; but Huntly durst not approach the city to accompany the King to the dinner which he had prepared for him. The guard is taken from him and he retired that night over the Firth to his house in Fife, called Dunfermline, and from thence it is thought he will go north. They are here the better content that he has gone from the court.
If the Chancellor and the party zealous in religion and favourers of the course of England be backed by her majesty, the papists will quail and be wrecked if the King should favour them. But I think there is no such suspicion to be had of him, for he sheweth himself both in word and deed a mortal enemy to popery, "making proclamacion upon great penaltie for the banishing of all suspected parsons in papistrie." The King hath raised a hundred horse for his better strength to prevent a sudden mischief, and would take up another hundred if he were able. The protestants here and the well-affected stand upon their guard, and if her majesty countenance them they will go through with that which is begun, and now a penny spent will save her many a pound hereafter.
The Earl of Erroll met the King hunting and had some secret conference with him, but upon this rumour that the town was in arms both he and Huntly retired over the Firth, leaving the King with a small train returning towards Edinburgh to dine at Huntly's house, but his host durst not enter to entertain him.
There is none yet apprehended but Claud Hamilton, who is prisoner in the castle, but everyone has access to him. Bruce is not yet apprehended, nor Chisholme.
The party taken with the letters is greatly desired; the long delay makes them doubt his coming. Baron Fentrie, upon this discovery, "went to shipbord to go towardes France, but the wind would not suffer him to passe awaie." The King hath sent for him; if he be wisely handled he is able to discover much, for he is thought to be a chief counsellor in these practices.
Lord Livingston's house was searched for Bruce and the 10,000 ducats, "but the partie cannot be hard of, nor no part of the gould there found."
The 10th of March here arrived Monsieur Seville, of whom I received a letter from your honour. He shall find me ready to afford him such service as lieth in me. Lord Wemyss has stayed his coming a long time for lack of money, and now of late the "broyles" here, and lastly the arrival of Monsieur Seville; yet I think, as he telleth me, he will set forward about the 20th.
I am to request you touching Mr. Dratch, whose penalty for recusancy, by your procurement, her majesty bestowed on me. I compounded with the gentleman before coming hither. I understand he is in prison in Shrewsbury and his land extended. I beseech your honour as by your good means I first obtained the benefit of his penalty, so now it may still continue to my use according to her majesty's grant, and that the party may have such favour as law and equity will permit. I would crave that the gentleman might be delivered out of prison and committed to the custody of my cousin Ashby in Leicestershire, of whose zeal in religion I refer you to the report of Mr. Lysle Cave. Edinburgh. Signed: W. Asheby.
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7. Roger Aston to James Hudson. [Mar. 15.]
Because I know you will be desirous to know how matters go here in this time of trouble, since my last letter of the 13th we have been in danger of a present change of court. After Huntly's coming out of the castle he pressed the King to be restored to the captainship of the guard, which was granted, and the King returned to his own house in the abbey. But the Chancellor finding himself nowise in surety while these guards were there, refused to come to the abbey but upon his own guard. This bred jealousy among them, and the Chancellor got a commission to levy 100 horse, which Huntly misliked, "so that every one mesliked and stod in fere of otheres." This continued three days, the King daily going to the town, where he met the Chancellor and such as advance the good cause. In the end, the Chancellor, seeing the daily danger they were in, dealt with the King either to remove Huntly and discharge his guards, or else he and such as favour the religion would retire. "This putt the Kinge in a grett brangle, (fn. 2) for he had grett love to Hontle," yet he agreed to discharge his guard, and Huntly to go home. It was then devised that Huntly should ask the King to dinner in the town, the Chancellor to be there. So they persuaded the King to hunt in the forenoon, and he went forth about 9. From 10 to 12 sundry "post" came to Huntly that the town was in arms; whereupon they informed the King that it would be dangerous to return, and would have persuaded him to have gone with them. "We thatt were the beholderes were in doutt a long tyme whatt waye we should take. Som tyme we rod west, and som tyme est." There were few or none there but of Huntly's faction. Erroll came and spake the King, which put us in greater fear than before; Bothwell and the master of Livingston, who would have gone all one way. "It came to this extremety, thatt the Kinge offred rather to dye there then to goe with them." Huntly took his leave and is now going north; his guards are discharged. Erroll hath promised to enter on Wednesday next.
I hope her majesty will stand to this Chancellor, "for he it is thatt doth all; if he be well backed he will be able to doble it outt; if he perres, farewell Skotland and all good men here." He hath vowed to end in this action; God grant her majesty may consider of him as he deserves.
Letters have come this day that one is coming from her majesty, which puts the Chancellor in good courage. If this cause do not well, I shall leave Scotland; I am hated of that faction for my country's sake and for that I love the Chancellor. You may acquaint his honour with this letter; I know Mr. Fowler writes to him at length.
"Gloud" [Claud Hamilton] remains still in the castle, and so is like to do. Monsieur Sevell gets audience this afternoon, and I hope shall be satisfied. We long for the man that should come. Thomas Tyerry is to be here this night, and thereafter we shall haste his despatch. I cannot see that Wemyss will come so soon as was looked for, yet he thinks after this gentleman's speech with his majesty he shall be dispatched. Presently after he will come thither, and return here again for the convoy of his men. Signed: Roger Aston.
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8. William Asheby to [Burghley]. [Mar. 18.]
I received your honour's letter of the 7th March on the 16th, and understand thereby that Pringle, the Scotchman, was brought to Berwick on the 15th. Upon receipt of your letters I sent to the court to have audience to acquaint the King of this man's coming to Berwick, and to understand what order should be taken for his convoy to Edinburgh.
That day the King kept his bed, being troubled with a pain in his side, which he had taken the day before in hunting, so I could not have access to him. The next day I sent again; then he was busy, and retired to write to her majesty for the despatch of Wemyss; so I had not access the second day. I then acquainted the Chancellor with Pringle's being at Berwick. He answered, the King would not seem to take knowledge of his arrival at Berwick till Erroll had rendered himself, which should be the 19th of March, upon whose coming they would lay hands on the rest that could be gotten.
Erroll met the King in the field the 13th, as I writ in my last, and had conference, but there was no staying of him then, for none was with the King but Huntly and his faction. The King carrieth such a fond affection to Huntly as is incredible, and seeketh to make friendship betwixt the Chancellor and the Earl. The Chancellor telleth the King that "he haith no particular with Huntley," but seeing he is suspected in religion and his honour touched in this traitorous practice, he will have no dealing with him before he hath purged himself in these points.
"The Kinges yong yeres is greatlie abused by the flatterie and false othes of the adverse partie and papistes in this land," and his lenity emboldens that faction very much; but if the Chancellor be countenanced by her majesty he will be able, with his party, to wreck the papists and root out popery in this realm. He is wise and stout and hath the King's care above the rest; he is zealous in religion and affects greatly the course of England. The King's well-disposed mind in religion, and in affecting her majesty's amity, is nourished by this man; "and the protestantes of Scotland do like so well of his dealing as thei are readie to rune that course that he shall lay downe."
The papists seek either to cut him off from the King, or by gifts and fair promises to divert him from the course he hath begun, hoping that if this man were either taken away or wrought to their side, the greatest part would run against England.
The Chancellor would not come to court before Huntly's guard was broken, which was done the 13th, and Huntly retired the same day to Dunfermline, and now towards the north.
The King hath written to her majesty accounting himself most bound to her, and I judge will follow what course she shall set down; but his ability is such as he can do nothing, and it makes him fearful, and suffers great indignities of some of his unruly subjects. Bothwell is a man that doeth great hurt, a maintainer of all disordered persons both by sea and land, "and he lyeth most subject to be anoyd by England." The King and all good men are weary of him, for he troubles almost all men and therefore they would "the willinger see his wrake."
Here are some few pirates, especially one Peterson and Haggerston. One of them has taken of late an English ship and carried it to Montrose, and there hath sold her lading, and keeps the vessel. The matter is so bolstered out by Bothwell as the commandment of the King will bear no sway. It would be very well liked of here that her majesty would send a man-of-war upon these coasts to keep these mates in order, and to hang this Peterson and his fellow Haggerston, for Bothwell so countenances them as no man dare lay hand on these parties.
Lord Wemyss is to depart to-morrow, or the 20th at the furthest. This man is right well affected towards her majesty, and a furtherer of all good courses betwixt these two crowns, and one that you may account of to be zealous in religion and a furtherer of the good amity of these two princes, willing and ready to perform any good office tending to her majesty's good pleasure as anyone in these parts.
Your letter of the 13th I received the 17th at ten in the night. This morning the King went out a-hunting by five; upon his return this evening I will acquaint him with the coming of Sir George Carey, and so procure his passport to be ready against his coming to Berwick. Edinburgh. Signed: W. Asheby.
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9. Thomas Fowler to Walsingham. [Mar. 18.]
I wrote before of Huntly's manner of going away from the field, the King being a-hunting, when Erroll came in, and Bothwell, who were never hunters before. "It is discovered sence that theyre purpose was to have browght the Kinge in a fray by the brute that the towne of Edenbrowghe was in armes, and take the advantage of that to perswade him to have gon with them to some newtour place, and have left the towne and his diner therein: but the Kinge dispised theyre cowncell and sent the erlls of Huntley and Erroll from him."
On Sunday, the 17th, the Earls of Erroll, Montrose, Crawford and Bothwell, with divers lords, convened at Dunfermline at Huntly's house, and Bothwell came to this court at night, using very hot speeches from Huntly in the name of the rest. The King put him to silence, and within an hour came letters from Huntly—doubting lest Bothwell would go beyond his commission—setting forth the cause of their meeting, to devise how to satisfy the King and clear themselves, with fair promises, and desiring that anything further writ or spoken in their names might not be believed. "This I take to be a cunnynge dealinge to brynge in Huntley agayne to cowrt; yet he must northeward out of hand."
That day of the hunting they might have carried off the King by force if they listed, for saving myself all were of Huntly's faction: "and suer my there beinge offended them muche." Even now I understand that Huntly went northward from Dunfermline yesterday in the afternoon, and goes to Strabogie. The King is melancholy, but it is hoped he will forget Huntly and follow the cause against the rest: but there lacks another Arran.
"Huntley and Gloyd Hamelton makes great meanes to wyn the chauncelour bothe by money and frendes, and there is no comfort comes to him frome Ingland."
Colonel Stewart would fain be accounted English, and offers service to her majesty. He presented of late these lines enclosed to the King. Edinburgh. Signed: T. Fouller.
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10. Thomas Fowler to Burghley. [Mar. 20.]
I would write oftener to your lordship but for offending the ambassador. I entered in a course of writing to Mr. Secretary, and have a convoy appointed. Sure I help the ambassador besides, and this day have delivered him a discourse that passed betwixt this King and me coming from the hunting on 19th instant, which I have written to your lordship in form of a letter. The ambassador is honest, yet I would not have all my service hidden.
"This Kinge is not able to comawnd his subjectes by force as others; they obey him—at least the most of them—in sleyght matters not tochinge lyffe. And the rather they suffer him to lyve all this while in hoope by him to have dealinge with Ingland, which withowt him theyre hoope is voyde. Yet when it comes to execusyon of justyce, I see they feare him not, and rather he feares to deale, at least with many of them at once, by the example of his forbeares that were the best and severest justyces were allwayes cut off vntymely." He hath often told me the wickedness of his nobility and their evil natures, declaring himself weary of his life among them; commending the obedience of the English, the agreement of our counsellors in service of their prince and country, and esteems you the first and gravest counsellor of Europe this day. He says all his ministers have found your lordship a hard man, "but he consydders your syncere dealinge for the quene your mistress," and cannot think evil of you for it, wishing he had such another. He desires nothing more, next her majesty's good liking of him, than that your lordship will think well of him, and in his honest course toward her will favour his requests. Though his giddy subjects urge him, yet reason will content him, whatever they demand. "He is perswaded to ask his gooddames land, but if he have to maynteyn a gard to comawnd the vnruly, and sume tytell of honour, it will suffyce, and tey him by leage, and it cuttes of all hoope that now the evell disposed ar in." If the Chancellor had somewhat, it would make all sure.
The Earl Marshal goes next month to Denmark with others about the marriage. I see not how a queen can be here maintained, for there is not enough to maintain the King. Erroll refuses to come in as yet. Signed: T. Fouller.
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11. Thomas Fowler to Burghley. [Mar. 20.]
I have had conference with this King since he knew of Sir George Cary's coming. He began to make reckoning that before the ambassador's coming from court her majesty was advertised of Huntly's restitution to favour; "'But,' quoth he, 'they have not hard yet what I have done sence, how that he is gon northe and discharged of gard and cowrte.'" He asked me if I thought the Queen should not hear thereof before the ambassador came to Berwick; and if she did, whether it would not alter his commission. I answered, I thought both. He told me that though he had sent Huntly away, he thought he was no more guilty than I was. And for proof, first he considered the nature of the man, young, merry, no dealer in matters of state, married to a young gentlewoman near of his blood, whom he loved dearly. Then for his religion, he came out of France a papist, and so professed himself a long time without dissembling, "'But,' saythe he, 'I was allwayes perswadinge him, and browght him to conference with divers mynisters sundry tymes; and not rashely, but by good delyberacyon, he conceaved of the truthe,'" and subscribed: since which he hath run a religious course. He told me that Bruce coming to this town two months since would have spoken with Huntly, but he refused, and told the King of Bruce's being here, "saying he was a man evell suffered in the cowntry"; and told the Chancellor, whereupon they laid wait for him, but he got word and escaped.
A month afore these letters Huntly persuaded the King that this summer, when hunting, he needed no guard: "'I myght spare that charge tyll the wynter, and geve him leave to goo in to his country where he had busynes'—and this aunswers not to the letters—'then,' quoth he. 'if you hard what veyment speches and solemne othes he uses in may[n]teyninge his religion and his fydellite to me, who can thinke that a yonge noble man of his nature and disposycyon as I have told you, can be so very a devell in decemblynge his religion,'" or so ungrateful.
The King said that he knew so much of the practices of the papists, even touching himself, as to be persuaded they would do this of Huntly, who had forsaken them, to salve their sore by cunning dealing; because if the King of Spain knew that he had left them, it might alter all. And Bruce in his letter saith that though Huntly had subscribed they doubt not to have him on their side ere long, for they have good counsel about him. His majesty also told me that since the earl was committed to the castle there was no man that advised him to any course but he had bewrayed it and told him the truth. Then he set forth his obedience; first in going to the castle, then from the hunting field to Dunfermline, then going north, "not brekinge day nor hower."
I told his majesty it was not impossible to be as he had said, but appearance was otherwise, for those papists that would assure noblemen to be of their party that were not should in the end deceive themselves and the general cause. They had dispensation to do or say anything to advance the pope's liberties, and Huntly being of a gentle nature might the sooner by cunning men be persuaded to dissemble if he took it to be for his soul's health, and might gain Spanish pistoles too thereby
I persuaded him to make a yet more severe proof, especially of Huntly, lest he were deceived. He yielded, and vowed that if he found that man guilty he would prosecute him above all other. Edinburgh.
Postscript—There is come with the Laird of Wemyss a nephew of the Chancellor called Mr. Richard Colborne. The Chancellor loves and trusts him much: it will do no harm to use him well. Signed: T. Fouller.
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12. William Asheby to Burghley. [Mar. 20.]
I received your honour's letter of the 16th the 20th of March. Touching the King's favours to Huntly I have already written, and have sent here enclosed a discourse his majesty had with Mr. Fowler lately, which he hath set down himself. For the rest, as Erroll, who came not in at his day, and Claud Hamilton with Maxwell already in prison, there is hope the King will see well to them.
Search is made for Bruce, Creichton, and Chisholme, but such is the number of their followers as they cannot be gotten as yet. The Chancellor hopes to get them in time, but if comfort be not given to him and his party from her majesty and money for horsemen and charges, I see not how they can proceed. The 10,000 crowns sought for cannot be found. It is true that Huntly supped and dined with the Chancellor after coming out of the castle, where, when he could not keep him out of credit with the King, he thought to work a better effect by showing a favourable countenance than by longer opposing him; for then whatever should follow, the King would take it to proceed of malice for his own particular. Huntly, both in the castle and after, professed to the King to love the Chancellor next his highness, of which the King was glad: but within three or four days Huntly, seeing the Chancellor taking up 100 horsemen armed, could hold no longer, but even before the King would know what he meant by it, claiming to himself that charge, being captain of the guard. The Chancellor forbore to answer, but the King said these were levied to apprehend offenders to religion, himself, and the realm: "and you, my lord, are blotted with the same, and not yet clered thereof nor mete to have this charge."
The Chancellor took advantage hereof to remind the King of Huntly's great dissembling with him, and informed him of some practice of late, vowing that one of them would be "both discourted and disgarded." And so fell out his going away of the day after.
The Laird of Wemyss hath his full despatch, and setteth forward tomorrow (fn. 3) early to be at Berwick that night, returning hither again before going to the King of Navarre. His commission tends to these points: firstly, to see how her majesty will consider of him, urging the offers made by me at my first coming hither, upon the entry of the Spanish fleet into the narrow seas; "he will not sticke to aske largelie, remembring that 'in[i]qua petenda sunt ut equa habeant,' but I judge the King wilbe content with reason, althoughe he demaund great matters at the first;" secondly, to demand the lands descended to him by his grandmother; thirdly, to acquaint her majesty with his match with the second sister of the young King of Denmark, and to urge her bounty in augmentation of his charge; fourthly, for the uniting together for defence of religion, and security of these two kingdoms against invasion of strangers; some other demands touching the spoil of merchants by English pirates.
The enclosed is from Mr. Fowler, who is ready to perform any good office that lieth in him for her majesty's service. Edinburgh. Signed: W. Asheby.
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13. Thomas Fowler to Walsingham. [Mar. 20.]
I am most sorry that your honour is by your sickness restrained from court, "and so is moo then I, here." This bearer can tell you of this state. But little appearance of quietness; Earl Bothwell threatens the Chancellor, but the latter cares not much for him. It is thought Erroll will not enter, for yesterday was his day and he comes not. I am sorry there is no more speedy comfort given to the Chancellor and his party; they are in danger greatly. The King continues his affection to Huntly, and excuses him as not guilty of these matters intercepted, giving many reasons for proof; yet he will try him. Surely his majesty means well, and will deal so far as he can to the Queen's liking, but he can do no more than he may. Edinburgh. Signed: T. Fouller.
Postscript—The Chancellor has a nephew, one Richard Colborne, come this voyage with Wemyss. It will do no harm if he is well used.
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14. Burghley to Thomas Fowler. [Mar. 21.]
I most heartily thank you for your letters, the last dated the 14th, and so fully written as I need move no questions as I do to our ambassador, because he writeth more strictly than I wish. The Queen accepted your diligence and your fidelity in very gracious part, and so she counselleth me to write to you. You shall do well not to appear too much affectionated to us, lest you be there precluded from inward causes. I know the manner of that nation. The Queen hath conceived a great misliking of the contrarious proceedings of the King, but yet I do require her to hope better of the end, considering the King's devotion in religion, and the diversity of government there, that he hath not so absolute authority as she hath, "and the nobilliti ther ar not acqueynted with absolut government of ther King but rather ar them selves in a sort absolut." And thus I end, lacking leisure by Mr. Secretary's long absence, and a busy parliament, though very quiet. Signed: W. Burghley.
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15. William Asheby to Burghley. [Mar. 23.]
The 21st early in the morning I received a letter from your honour with the enclosed of her majesty to the King, (fn. 4) which I presented to him that day, informing him of the stay of Sir G. Carie, and that her majesty knew not what to judge or how to counsel him, seeing his proceeding tendeth against his own safety and the quietness of his realm. He read the letter and considered it with the Chancellor all that afternoon. The next morning I went to court again. Her majesty's letter he liked well of, acknowledging her careful mind for him; "and if the wourdes of a prince of the religion are to beare credit, this King will prosequute the matter most severelie, so farr as is possible; onlie some favour to Huntley, till he be found guiltie, I se he meanes to shew, and for the order of proceading for severitie of close imprisonment and otherwise he allegeth it haith not ben the manner of this countrie."
Erroll was proclaimed to the horn the 21st of March, his goods and lands confiscated, and his body pursued as a traitor; "his not comming in doth more good to the proufe of the cause then if he had entred at his daie. Pringle is sent for this 22 of March by Mr. W Hume to the 100 horse now taken up lieutenant under the Lord Chancellour."
The King's young years and mild nature will be abused by the papists and malcontents if he be not strengthened from her majesty. The adverse faction, "sithence the discourting of Huntley," have had consultations at Dunfermline and St. Johnstone's; it is feared that they being many some dangerous attempt will be made to cut off the chief about the King, and so to possess him and draw him to their course, seeing them backed with foreign forces of men and money, whereof they have some, and expect more daily from Spain and the Duke of Parma, as also their arrival shortly.
It were not amiss, to stir up the King and encourage the well affected here, to send some man of credit and experience in these parts from her majesty, for without her assistance the King and this party will not be able to withstand the attempts that the papists will essay now they are discovered; "the fier kinled will not be quenched without her majesties healping hand, which will prevent an eminent danger, and save her majestie manie a pound hereafter."
Touching the Spaniards, as I wrote before, order is taken to be sent away in ships of this country, and for their transporting to give 10s. a man; but I see not how it will be performed without her majesty be at charge. There are 1000 or more in this country, which is dangerous among these turbulent spirits; the soldiers may be sent away, the captains stayed for ransom.
The King hath promised to stay Desmond and further examine him, suspecting he hath been acquainted with this late practice. Touching the noblemen named in the letters, the Chancellor thinks they are all guilty, and Huntly as far as the rest, but dare not say so to the King. They are resolved to go forward with the mariage in Denmark, as you shall see by the instructions of the lord Wemyss. The ministers daily solicit the sending away of the Spaniards, "but all restes upon this point wherewith." Edinburgh. 23 March, 1588.
Postscript—"Here attends continuallie at there great charges in respect of theise matters, to countenance the cause and the chancellor, the Erles of Angus, Mar, Morton, Marishal, and the Master of Glamis." Signed: W. Asheby.
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16. Thomas Fowler to Burghley. [Mar. 23.]
How well this King saith he will do, my lord ambassador knoweth, and I think he means as he speaks, but how he can perform it there is a doubt. The papists are in their countries, except the two in prison, who have intelligence with the rest. Bothwell, who is of no religion, is gone home malcontent, and professed on their side. A knight of that party yesterday assured me that within a month I should see Huntly in place and credit in court more than ever, and such an alteration in Scotland as was not this forty years. I made an impossibility of it; he bade me challenge him if I saw it not fall out true. He rejoiced much at Bothwell's being theirs, and assured me they had 20,000 pistoles in hand, and should have 40,000 more in a fortnight.
I telling the ambassador, it was thought good, since I may not avouch my author, that the Chancellor rather than the King should be made acquainted therewith by me. Which done, this made him more than ever assured that they intended some great matter shortly, and he desired that her majesty would send hither with speed "an ambassadour, a man of credyt, stowt and wyese, able to deale with the Kinge"; who, if he found not the King so forward as were requisite, should lay down to his council, now here, all these dangers; he should be well heard. This the Chancellor thinks better to be done by one that shall not stay here but for this negotiation only than by the ambassador "leger," that must hereafter have the King's ear for many other matters. Such an ambassador's coming will make them stand together. They look for support from her majesty if need require, and for the present charge of their horsemen, and transport of the Spaniards. Signed: T. Fouller.
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17. Discourse concerning the Sentence on the Queen of Scots. [March] Cott. Calig., D. I., fol. 37.
"[A di]scourse plainlie prooveinge that as well the sentence of death latelie given against that unfortunate Ladie Marie, late Queen of Scotts, as also the execution of the same sentence were honourable, just, necessarie and lawfull."
18. Thomas Fowler to Walsingham. 1589. [Mar. 26.] Cott. Calig., D. I., fol. 418.
What money will work among this [nation] I doubt not but your honour knows; the Spanish faction [and the] Treasurer amongst them having store of pistoles to serve when the King and his side have nothing to make any force with. There are but the Chancellor and four or five of the better sort that like the English nation; to the King many speak fair because they hear him so much for England, but if it come to a matter of proof they are gone. Bothwell has gone already to the Spanish side. Claud Hamilton seeks the Chancellor's friendship with offers of money or land, for he is rich. No comfort is given from England; the ambassador dare promise nothing. I have at a venture put them in hope that her majesty will support them, but they hear nothing thence. They say her majesty will have the King do things to her liking, but he must do all of himself in suppressing the Spanish faction, and sending away the Spaniards, without consideration how he can do it.
A wise councillor said to me this morning, "I dowt in thes matters what cowncell to geve tyll I see whether y[our] Quene will confyrme a leage with our Kinge, in what sort, [and] what she will doo for him."
"For we fynde that your cow[ncell] in all pollecy seekes the standinge and securyte of the [Quene (?)] withowt respect of your neyghbors farder then tendes to . . . (fn. 5) turne; and for theyre more assurance do they not dea[le] with Papist, Turke, Barbar or who so ever? Then may n[ot] we lerne by your government to consydder of our Kinge, . . . is of him selffe poore and not able to defend him selffe . . . cowntry agaynst Ingland, havinge his frendes of Fraunce trobled by present warres, of which the tyme and end is . . . And if he cut of the faceyon of Spayne and frustrate a[ll] hoope of succour and ayde that way too, is he not th[en] in the marcy of Ingland to be used as you lyst, and who knowes how that wilbe? At least we ar bownd [by] the example of your Cowncell to foresee and provyde for the worst—as we may—and experyence techethe us to dowt m[uch]. Yet if we may see in tyme that the Quenes majeste w[ill join] in leage with the Kinge, support him, and repayre that . . . have impayred in his credit and righte, then will we cowncell him unfeynedly to forsake all prynces and . . . ayde, and cast him selffe onely in to the handes of . . . Ingland and to doo what ever is best . . ." I answered as well as my wit would serve me, but he would [not] leave his opinion.
I doubt not the King will rule well so long as no foreign forces arrive, but if there came a few thousands of Spaniards and many thousands of pistoles, I doubt there will not be . . . to withstand them, and that this well-affected King would have no power to reject persuasions to [join ?] with them. If he should yield to any attempt against [England], papist and protestant would run with him in that fortune; he is now far off that purpose, but many discommends him for it.
There are few in this country of his own opinion, and he dares not deal with so many of his nobility as were requisite to avoid danger, unless backed by England. Edinburgh. Signed: T. Fowler.
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19. Thomas Fowler to Burghley. [Mar. 28.] Cott. Calig., D. I., fol. 395.
I received your letter on 21st instant. I will endeavour to merit her majesty's goodness and your favour. On the 25th instant Pringle was brought to the King in the young Duke's chamber. The Chancellor thought it best the King should be present at the first examination, and the King would have the Duke—whose sister Huntly hath married— present with him, and Alexander Lyndsey, a younger brother to the Earl of Crawford. The Duke, who was fourteen years old last Candlemas, is "so proper a youthe, so wy[se], stayde, actyve on horse and fote, cowrteows, of suche intertey[nment] and carryage of him selffe, so pleasynge to all men, so good a . . . (fn. 6) and grace, beinge resonable highe and well made, as tr[uly] he is a parragon. The Kinge loves this Duke as him selffe; the Duke loves Huntley owt of mesure, frome whome he ne[ver] was so longe as he used cowrt or nere it. When I ca[me] hether fyrst, all the Kinges care was how he myght procuer the L[ady] Arbell for wyffe to the sayd Duke, and wolde have sent to the [Quenes] majeste therein: but askinge my opinyon I discowraged him the[rein]. Then he thowght to desyer in generall termes to have the bestowinge of hir. I aunswered that yet he was lyker to . . . by dealinge in specyall, for no dowte but hir majeste wold know how she sholde be bestowed. I gave him comfort in neyther, yet he sayd then he wold prove it: and for more proffe of love to the sayde Duke hys majeste dealt secretly I know, which was to disprove the tytell of the Hameltons to the crowne of Scotland and to aprove the Duke's. But he was advised what a da[nger] it wold brynge apon him; allso that he shold marry him [selffe] and by Goddes grace have isshue to cut of all other. The Duke hathe a yonger sister of [10 ?] yeres old that is thowght shalbe Cowntes of Argile. They . . . bothe together and ar papistes."
Alexander Lindsey is the King's best beloved minion; a proper man, and Huntly's wholly. There is not one in the chamber or of the stable, "which two sortes of people ar nerest attendinge on the Kinges person," but are Huntly's, except Roger Aston and Richard Colborne, both gone to London. These men have the King's ear, and work great effect for Huntly, and the Chancellor cannot mend it, for the King will not change his servants, he loves them so well.
To the examination of Pringle before the King came the Duke, Lindsey, the Chancellor, Sir Robert Melvin and the Clerk of the Register. "He sayd the letters were . . . him by Bruce; and attendinge Bruce at the Erll H[untley's] howse Domfermlyng, where he saw the famyly . . . betwen the Erll, Bruce and . . . xiiij day, which they accompted to be a iiij or v [dayes] . . . Erll subscrybed to the churche, but longe after he had . . . and sworne to the Kinge to forsake papistry and all . . . companyes."
"Pryngell tellinge the maner of theyre me[eting], the place, day, and hower, the Kinge soddenly axed him [what] aparell the Erll ware that day. He reddely began at [his] hat, and to his showes told it so as the Kinge alowed it [that] he had sene him were the lyke. He told allso that a [day or] ij. before the Erll was cum over the water and scaped . . . hardly, which was a token, of the tyme, well knowne. Th . . . Pryngell charged one Forster to be present at thes matters [as w]ell as he, and this Forster hathe byn in the Towleboth here ever sence Don John de Medena went hence in [a] barke of Coronell Stewerd, and was goinge with Medena to Spayne as was thowght to brynge sum aunswer frome him. But the Chauncelour beinge advertysed that a man was shipped amongest the Spanierdes, know[ing] him to be a papist and a suspicyows fellow, sent [to] take him owt of the ship that mornynge they were . . ., and comytted him then to prysson, where tyll now [he] hathe byn, but never any thinge gotten owt of him. This Forster was sumtymes in Ingland with Movisher [Mauvissière]."
"[On] Pryngells accusynge him the Kinge presently sent for [him]; there Pryngell charged him selffe, but he craftely de[nyed] eyther to know him or to have sene him before, or th[at] he was aquaynted with any suche metynge or ma . . ."
"Pryngell affyrmed it stowtly, and desyred the commba . . . him. Then Pryngell was syfted how he bewrayed [him self]: he sayd he wold fayne have discovered the matter [to the] Kinge before his goinge, but for feare of the great men whome it concerned. And beinge at sea his consyence [was] trobled, and then landinge in Ingland he thowght [to] have bewrayed it fyrst to Mr. Secretory him selffe, but makinge an Inglishe man pryvey of the matter superfycy[ally], he betrayed him, and made him be taken as he was up to London."
Huntly's friends take advantage of this voluntary dealing of his, and would persuade that . . . was suborned to do it: but the King thinks he is deceived in the opinion he had of Huntly, and that he hath dealt untruly with him; yet he sees no proof against him, for "Pryngell sayes not that Huntley . . . send him to Bruce with eyther letters or m . . . all with him, onely that . . . ynge with Bruce and Chesholme attendinge his depeche . . . eyne metynges and conferences; which the Kinge takes hold [of] as a matter that Huntley denayed to him, and therefore suspectes him in the rest."
As for Erroll and Claud Hamilton, this man says nothing of them, but only the letters in cipher which they deny to be privy to. Bruce went long ere the letters came hither, being pursued by the Chancellor.
The Jesuits Creichton and . . . cannot be found: Bothwell protects Creichton. Chesholme is fled also; therefore what proof can be made, for these noblemen have had leisure to learn their lesson to agree in a tale with other traitors. "Mr. Mony wo[uld] fynde them owt, but he is not in thes partes; they say here he must cum owt of Ingland." Without more bountiful dealing there will be little care here to satisfy her majesty. I will answer for the King himself being "as lothe to offend hir as any th[e most] obediente childe cane be to the mother;" but he is subject to his Council and they may abuse him. He is not able to live like a King. He borrows often of his towns and never pays; he takes taxes alias subsidies every year for three or four past, which they repine at, "and hathe aunswered this now collected shalbe the last, and had not graunted it. . . . to brynge home a wyffe and furnishe his maryage, and . . . it be all payde as never is; the whole is but . . . sterlyng, a c thousand li. Scotes. He hathe neyther plate nor stuffe to furnishe one of his lytell halfe bult howses, which ar in great decay and ruen." His plate is not worth 100l.; he has only two or three rich jewells, and his guards are unpaid. Now he hath made the Chancellor . . . hundred horsemen, whose entertainment will be . . . . miserable poverty of a good king. His saddles are of plain cloth; he has six or seven dishes of meat but eats but of two; no bread but of oats, and cares not what apparel. "He never thinkes of mony nor how [it] shold be gotten, so he have to play the crownes a se . . . when the wether is fowle." If any escheat or ward fall, the first that bags it hath it; his Cowncil will not be against it for purchasing themselves feed, and take on with him to take where he may have it. Some praise the liberality of Spain, and speak of the niggardly dealing of England; he answers them more like an English subject than a Scots King. Her majesty should know that he is neither ambitious, malicious nor covetous.
"Sum stay in his gevinge b[efore] all, in effect, was gon had byn meete, but that is p . . . onles he make a generall revocacyon, which the kinges [of] this cowntry hathe had a law they myght doo tyll they were xxv yeres of age: but this man dare not doo [it] onlesse he were otherwayes backed then he is. It is . . . what he hathe geven away within vj yeres."
The Chancellor guides the helm in all matters of state and is the best affected of all towards England, but he is covetous. He is poor, and driven to keep a great train to save his life from his enemies. He spends much more than his living, and need makes men do that they would not; —"and what is it that a Scot will not do for mony?" If he were bound to her majesty, as I know how he might be, what could be desired for her but he would perform it? . . . traitors and ill pretenders to England that now I do . . . kes to gain more by than by England. Let [him] not be tempted above his strength; he hath many of evil counsel against England, and few good. Such is the hatred of this nation to us that many of them even hate their King for being well affected.
"I have sent your lordship a pece of worke herewith that was ment to have byn us[ed] to a purpose here. It is kept very secret, yet I gat a copy of it; and thowghe it be now layde bye in this part, it may serve sum turne hereafter." Edinburgh.
Postscript—I thank you for your advice, which I will follow.
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20. James Hudson to Walsingham. [Mar. 31.]
May it please your honour to receive enclosed a letter from Robert Scot, which I make bold to send as a confirmation of his other, and not to inform you in that which you do know. If it seem good to you to hear of more particulars touching Medina, Mr. Fowler by your honour's letter will enquire of his cousins' two brothers of that name in Scotland, "with whoam he is great." The one you know and his humour; he was with you four years ago. York. Signed: J. Hudson.
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21. James VI. to Elizabeth. [Mar. 31.]
"Right excellent, right highe and mightie princes, our dearest sister and cosen; in our hartiest manner we recommend us unto you. We are informed by the bearer hereof, Mr. Patrick Blare, howe that he by the space of manie yeares hath founde your gratious favour extended towardes him, but especially about a seaven yeares paste, in graunting him your presentatioun to a benefice in Devonsheire called Stockingham, att the request of Sir Frauncis Drake, knight, and at this presente in peaceable possession thereof: till that sithence his cominge to visite us att our commande, one Evans, a promoter, as we are informed, uppon sinister informacioun, hath indirectely procured a new presentacioun from you of the same, thereby intendinge to make voyde your former graunte and put the saide Mr. Patricke from his lyvinge without some specyall remedye. We have therefore yelded him this present, to request you verie earnestlie that his repayringe unto us att this tyme be no waies prejudicall nor hurtfull to him in that case, but that he may finde the contynewaunce of your good countenaunce and gratious favour as well in that as in other his adois. And that eyther by callinge back of the newe, or confirminge the olde and former presentacion, he may be put in suiretie of the tytle of his saide benefice, and still possesse the same under your favour and protectioun." "Holirudehouse." Signed: James R.
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